The afternoon before I wrote this article, I found a small amount of artistic inspiration in the most unlikely of places. In other words, I happened to see a mottled old piece of brown paper that I’d seen numerous times before. This is a piece of paper that is probably older than I am and time has given it a totally random pattern of pale beige, milky coffee and dark brown areas.
In a way, I guess that it’s kind of like the famous Rorschach test or like clouds in the sky, in that it serves as a mirror for the imagination and the subconscious, since the mind tries to make some sense of the random shapes.
As regular readers probably know, I’ve been going through yet another phase of playing the classic “Doom” games recently (when aren’t I?). So, when I looked at this familiar piece of mottled paper again – I saw something vaguely similar to the title screen art for the first two “Doom” games.
It was like this picture had been sitting in there all the time and I’d only discovered it. It was like some cool “Doom” fan art had been right in front of me the whole time and I’d only just noticed it.
Naturally, I grabbed my sketchbook and made a quick ink sketch of the mottled area in question – before turning it into something a bit more “Doom” like. Here are my first two sketches:
However, when it came to turning these sketches into an actual fan art painting, I ended up making a few changes. One of them was to cover up a mistake with drawing the monster in the bottom corner of the sketches and the other was because I thought that the picture looked too serious, so I decided to go in a slightly whimsical and more parodic direction. Here’s a detail from the finished painting:
The interesting thing about this old piece of paper – and with other things like wooden veneers on doors- is that this is hardly the first time that I’ve suddenly noticed a “hidden” picture. Although it’s probably the first time that I’ve actually bothered to sketch or remember it.
By far, the most interesting thing about finding a nebulous piece of “Doom” fan art hidden on a really old piece of paper was the composition of the image. It seemed a lot more dramatic than anything that I would have instantly thought of on my own.
But, of course, the mottling on the old piece of paper isn’t a piece of “Doom” fan art. It’s just a nebulous series of blobs that have been created by the randomness of time. If I wasn’t a fan of the old “Doom” games, then I’d have probably either seen something completely different or I’d have just seen a random series of blobs.
Still, as ways to get inspired go, there’s something to be said for looking at random naturally-occurring patterns. Yes, you probably won’t notice something every time and the best time for noticing things seems to be when you’re daydreaming and not really paying a huge amount of attention to anything.
But, as one of the many ways that you can find artistic inspiration, it’s worth remembering.
Sorry for the short article, but I hope that it was useful 🙂